SAGA Innovations

Our Approach


Each year, more than 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the U.S. These students are eight times more likely to end up in prison, and three times more likely to end up unemployed.1 

An achievement gap exists in educational attainment and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are not positioned for success. 


SAGA Innovations is a national nonprofit 501(c)3 that partners with public school districts to implement our intensive, high-dosage, in-school-day personalized tutoring model for under-served students. We oversee all aspects including recruiting and selecting tutors and leaders, training, daily supervision and support, curriculum and assessments, and data management. Our work has been evaluated in three randomized control trials by the University of Chicago Urban Labs and shown to be among the most effective interventions for high school students ever rigorously studied.

Our approach is unique because students in SAGA meet with their tutor in the school daily, in a period on the student’s regular schedule (as a graded course in addition to core classes). High-dosage tutoring addresses one of the central challenges in teaching: the heterogeneity in the academic level of students. This variability is exacerbated in high need urban communities where students are behind by multiple grade levels.

Education researchers have long known that small-group tutoring generates some of the best learning conditions we can devise, in part because it personalizes instruction. A key challenge has been figuring out how to implement tutoring in a scalable, cost-effective way.

Successful schools individualize academic instruction to meet the needs of students at all levels. Students’ early high school performance is critical to future academic success. 


1 Miller, T. (2011). “Partnering for Education Reform.” U.S. Department of Education. Accessed November 7, 2014.
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